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MultiChoice rejects Canal+ buyout offer

Canal+ makes new offer for MultiChoice at $2.9bn valuation

MultiChoice Group Ltd has formally declined a non-binding acquisition offer from Vivendi SE’s Canal+.

The proposed offer of R105 per share undervalued its shareholdings, MultiChoice noted. In a statement on its website, the firm MultiChoice noted that “while the Board is open to all means of maximising shareholder value, it has conveyed to Canal+ that – at this proposed price – the letter does not provide a basis for further engagement.”

It stated that in keeping with its duty to act in the best interests of the company, its board remains open to “engage with any party in respect of any offer which is for a fair price and is subject to appropriate conditions.”

The firm highlighted that the current deal excludes any potential synergies which may arise from the envisaged transaction. “These synergies need to be factored into any fair offer made by Canal+,” it said.

The firm affirmed that it would continue to act in accordance with its duties in the applicable provisions of the takeover regulations regarding any formal and binding offer.

In an important to its shareholders, the firm noted that it is permitted to reduce the voting rights of its shares so that the aggregate voting power of its shares that are presumptively owned or held by foreigners to South Africa will not exceed 20 per cent. MultiChoice stated that this is to comply with certain statutory requirements applicable to South Africa.

On February 2, Canal+ offered to buy all the shares it did not own in MultiChoice Group for about $1.7bn. At the time, the pay TV held a 31.67 percent stake in MultiChoice when its offer was announced. It has now raised its stake to 35.01 percent, MultiChoice revealed on Monday.